The Other Seymours: John Seymour, Son of Katherine Fillol

Players

I have no delusions that this article will not be confusing with all the Edwards and Johns, and it’s because of that I’ve included this list of players to help you differentiate between them:

Edward Seymour/Sir Edward – Later Duke of Somerset, married both Katherine Fillol and Anne Stanhope.

Sir John Seymour – Father of Edward Seymour, later Somerset.

John Seymour – First son born to Katherine Fillol and ?

Edward Seymour/Lord Edward – Son of Edward Seymour and Katherine Fillol

Katherine Fillol – First wife of Edward Seymour/Sir Edward

Anne Stanhope – Second wife of Edward Seymour/Sir Edward

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Book Review: “The Boy King” by Janet Wertman

The review was written and shared by Heidi Malagisi of Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

In 1547, young Prince Edward is having the time of his life studying and hoping to one day take part in a tournament. He has not a care in the world. That is until his beloved father King Henry VIII passes away, and the 9-year-old boy is now Edward VI, King of England. He must navigate family drama between his older half-sister Mary Tudor and his uncles, Edward and Thomas Seymour while maintaining order throughout the kingdom. To top it all off, he is trying to reform the entire country and convert Catholics into the Protestant faith. His short life and reign are portrayed in Janet Wertman’s third book in The Seymour Saga, “The Boy King”.

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The Other Seymours: Anne, Countess of Warwick

Written by Rebecca Larson

It seems, that wherever the Seymour family went, either tragedy or scandal followed. When it came to Anne Seymour, daughter of Edward, Duke of Somerset and his wife Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset, it was no different.

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Hugh Latimer’s Slander of a Dead Man

This post was originally made on my Thomas Seymour Society blog.

I recently picked up The Reign of Edward VI by James Anthony Froude and started looking for information on Thomas Seymour. It was while searching that I came across some new information.

On page 77, in the section of the book about the Protectorate, I found this line:

the admiral had seduced and deserted at least one innocent woman, who fell into crime and was executed.

The source for this statement is merely listed as “Latimer’s Sermons before King Edward”. So, of course, I went looking for this story in Latimer’s sermons. Unfortunately for me Froude did not give a more specific location in Latimer’s sermons. Luckily for me, the book is available online and I could do a search within it to find the reference to this woman.

The book is titled Sermons by Hugh Latimer, sometime Bishop of Worcester, Martyr, 1555, and I found the reference on page 164 (Latimer’s fourth sermon preached before Edward VI).

“I heard of a wanton woman, naughty liver. A whore, a vain body, was led from Newgate to the place of execution for a certain robbery that she had committed, and she had a wicked communication by the way. Here I will take occasion to move your grace, that such men as shall be put to death may have learned men to give them instruction and exhortation. For the reverence of God, when they be put to execution, let them have instructor; for many of them are cast away for lack of instruction, and die miserably for lack of good preaching. This woman, I say, as she went by the way, had wanton and foolish talk, as this: “that if good fellows had kept touch with her, she had not been at this time in that case.” [And amongst all other talk she said that such an one (and named this man) had first misled her: and, hearing this of him at that time, I looked ever what would be his end, what would become of him. He was a man the farthest fear of God that ever I knew or heard of in England. First, he was the author of all this woman’s whoredom; for if he had not led her wrong, she might have been married and become an honest woman, whereas now being naught with him, she fell afterward by that occasion to other: and they that were naught with her fell to robbery, and she followed; and thus was he the author of all of this.

After reading all that I was left wondering: Who was this woman? Did this really happen or was it fabricated by Latimer to further tarnish the reputation of Seymour to the King?

This got me thinking…how well did Latimer know Thomas, or the Seymour family at that. I found online, “Hugh Latimer; a biography” and in Chapter Four it states that Latimer was in Wiltshire from 1531 to 1535. During that time Thomas Seymour was employed by Francis Bryan at court.

If you are not familiar with the Seymours, their home at Wolf Hall was in Wiltshire. In the book “Ordeal by Ambition” by William Seymour, states that their home was in Burbage. Hugh Latimer was preaching at West Kington. I used Google maps to see what kind of distance were between the two locations and it appears to be about 36-38 miles, a bit far for the family to attend mass. In “Hugh Latimer; a biography”, the author states that while Thomas Seymour was in the Tower he requested that “Mr. Latimer might come to him”. The author believed that Seymour had heard countless praises of Latimer from his late wife, dowager queen Kateryn and that Latimer had converted Parr to the Protestant faith. Latimer visited Seymour in the Tower and may have attended him the day of his execution.

Latimer, indeed, without mentioning Seymour’s name, assumed that his audience “knew what he meant well enough.” But there were many who doubted his guilt; Latimer’s words were consequently much censured; and in his next sermon before the Court, on March 29, he deemed it necessary to defend himself by narrating all that he knew of Seymour’s death.

Latimer was also the person who reported the small notes that Seymour had written:

The man being in the Tower, wrote certain papers, which I saw myself. They were two little ones, one to my Lady Mary’s Grace, and another to my Lady Elizabeth’s Grace, tending to this end, that they should conspire against my Lord Protector’s Grace; surely, so seditiously as could be.

These notes were reported to Latimer by his servant and were found in Seymour’s shoe. The notes were sewn between the soles of a velvet shoe. He also goes on to mention how creative Seymour had been in creating ink to write. “He made his ink so craftily and with such workmanship, as the like hath not been seen.” “He made his pen of the aglet of a point, that he plucked from his hose, and thus wrote these letters…

Image Courtesy TheCostumeWardrobe – Etsy

John Lingard of Lingard’s History of England was no fan of Latimer or Somerset. He said that Latimer was merely staying on the good side of Somerset with his sermons.

So, from all this we can determine that Thomas Seymour may have known, or at least known of Latimer through his late wife. We can, if we believe Lingard, determine that Latimer was a man who understood he had to appease the Lord Protector.

I have been been unable to corroborate Latimer’s sermon about the wanton women who was executed because of Thomas Seymour. But it is my belief that Hugh Latimer’s sermon was fabricated to further slander Thomas Seymour’s name – many of the King’s subjects had become sympathetic to his story after his execution, just as they had with Anne Boleyn.

——-

Sources:

Hugh Latimer; a biography. by Demaus, R. (Robert), 1829 -1874; Tract Society, London. Publication date [1881]
Lingard’s History of England by Dom Henry Norbert Birt, O.S.B.. London. George Bell & Sons [1903].
The Reign of Edward VI by James Anthony Froude. Published by J. M. Dent & Company [1926].
Sermons by Hugh Latimer, sometime Bishop of Worcester, Martyr, 1555. Publisher Cambridge : Printed at the University Press [1844].
Ordeal by Ambition: An English Family in the Shadow of the Tudors by William Seymour. Published by
Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd [1972].

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The Life of King Edward VI of England (Part One)

As only the second Tudor king, Henry VIII was troubled through most of his reign by the lack of a male heir. He had sons but they never survived infancy – until the birth of his son Edward, Prince of Wales.

It took three marriages and countless pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths and deaths before the King got what he so desired. A son. Jane Seymour was the mother of Prince Edward but sadly lost her life after a long and arduous labor. There are debates on whether she died from puerperal fever or food poisoning since the release of Alison Weirs novel, Jane Seymour – the Haunted Queen which came out earlier this year (2018).

King Henrys first wife, Katherine of Aragon had been married to the king for over two decades, with many pregnancies and only one surviving child, a daughter, name Mary. While Mary was not the son that Henry so desired she was still The Kings Pearl.



King Henrys mistress, Bessie Blount provided the king with an illegitimate a few years after the birth of his daughter Mary. Surprising many at court, probably including his queen consort, Henry recognized the child as his and gave him the surname, Fitzroy, which translates to son of the king. Surely, if it came to it, Fitzroy could be his heir, but it was not ideal. In history it was never ideal to have a bastard named heir to throne. The king was grasping, he was desperate. Enter, Anne Boleyn.

Anne Boleyn had arrived at Tudor court at a time when Henry VIII was restless in his marriage. One could probably say that he was in panic mode. He desperately wanted a male heir and Anne Boleyn gave him the possibility of the son that he so desired. Unfortunately for King Henry his first wife would not accommodate his need for a son by granting him a divorce. The battle lasted seven long years and culminated in the King becoming the Head of the Church of England and marrying Anne near the end of 1532. The following September Anne gave birth to a daughter, called Elizabeth. While both Henry and Anne were disappointed they both believed that sons would follow.

Some have claimed that the King had syphilis, that this may have been the reason behind so many miscarriages and stillbirths, but that could not be further from the truth. In 1888, a Victorian doctor claimed the King had syphilis and this claim continued until it was debunked in 1931 by Frederik Chamberlin, but even Chamberlin could not stop the spread of the rumor. To this day, there are still those who believe the King and his Queens suffered from the disease. If the king HAD suffered from syphilis, not only would there be documentation of mercury treatment for the disease but he would have had gaping sores in the lymph node areas, potentially the destruction of the nasal cavity, loss of front teeth and palate erosion and lesions on the scalp and tibia. None of which had been reported.

Author Kyra Kramer, and others, believe that the King had a Kell positive blood type and that he developed McLeod syndrome as a result.

The Kell positive blood type would help to explain why his partners suffered miscarriages and losses. While McLeod syndrome explains the physical decline and outbursts by the king in his later years.

Unfortunately for Anne Boleyn she would not provide the King with the son she had promised and Henry in turn moved on to another – Jane Seymour.

In October 1537, Jane Seymour gave birth to a healthy son, Edward, Prince of Wales. Twelve days later she was dead, but Henry had his son.

Around midnight on the 28th of January 1547, King Henry VIII took his final breath. He had denied for days that he was to die and had been loth to hear any mention of death until Sir Anthony Denny insisted that last rites be given by Archbishop Cranmer. When Cranmer arrived, the King was no longer speaking and could on press Cranmers hand to acknowledge his presence.



At 3am, just hours after King Henry had died, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and Sir Anthony Browne rode to secure Edward, now King of England.

After retrieving Edward he was brought to Enfield where his sister Elizabeth had been staying, it was there that the two were informed of their fathers death. Edward was just nine years old and Elizabeth thirteen. At nine, Edward was too young to rule outright and his father had desired a regency council of 16 men to govern the country.

A conversation later mentioned by Sir William Paget with Edward Seymour, then Earl of Hertford tells us that Hertford began plotting for the Protectorship prior to the Kings last breath while pacing outside his room at Westminster. And so began the reign of King Edward VI, but before I get into that, lets go back to the beginning and learn a bit about the young Prince Edward.

Prince Edward of England

In March 1538, when Edward was almost six months a formal household was setup up for him. This was not uncommon. From birth, Prince Edward was handed over to the care of a separate household from the hectic nature of Tudor court.

Lady Margaret Bryan led Edwards household just as she had with his sisters Mary and Elizabeth as Mistress of the Household. Bryan would write regular letters to inform both the King and Cromwell of the Princes progress.

Tudor England, as we know, was strife with superstitions and prophecies – and a series of circumstances struck fear for the safety of the Prince, such as voodoo dolls which portrayed young Edward were found with pins pushed into it. In most cases, a piece of something belonging to the victim is attached to the doll – this makes one wonder how they would be able to obtain a piece of hair or what not to create the dolls.

There were also rumors spreading that Edward should be as great a murderer as his father since he had murdered his mother in her womb. These rumors were apparently started by a royal herald called Robert Fayery.



With all this happening in England, security was stepped up around the young prince who was already be protected from disease. Every day his residence would be cleaned to protect the young prince from infant mortality.

Nothing must escape the closest of scrutiny. All foods for Edwards consumption – bread, meat, milk, eggs and butter – were to be first eaten in large quantity; his clothes thoroughly washed, dried, brushed and stored safely, to be tested and worn before Edward put them on.4

Edward appeared by all to be a happy and healthy child. Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys reported that Edward was the prettiest child you ever saw. (LP, XIII, ii, 232) But, in the Fall of 1541 he contracted a quartan fever. (LP, XVI, 1297), a form of malaria and for ten days the princes life appeared in danger. King Henry so feared the death of his heir that he summoned all the doctors in England, said French Ambassador Marillac – and one of those doctors informed him: (translated from French) that without this accident, the said Prince seems to him to be of a composition so large, so dear, and so unhealthy, that he can not believe, by what he now sees, that he is to live long. (Kaulek, Correspondance politique, 350-4). The Prince, of course, recovered with the help of his fathers physician, Sir William Butts. Butts had fussed so much about the prince that Edward, feeling better, began to call him a fool and a knave and instructed the doctor to leave him.

By the time Prince Edward had recovered his second stepmother, Katheryn Howard was on her way to the scaffold and his father still had but one male heir.

After his recovery Edward returned to his normal daily life at the palaces of Hunsdon, Havering and Ashridge.

Edward’s Education

For a majority of his young life, Edward was surrounded by women. Until the age of six when he was handed over to Richard Cox and John Cheke – both young humanists from Cambridge. Roger Ascham, a tutor of the Lady Elizabeth also became involved in educating the future heir.

By all accounts, Edward was a quick learner. By late 1546, Richard Cox began to teach the prince French, which by December of that year he had so excelled that he wrote letters to his sister Elizabeth in the language.

Only the best of the best were brought in to teach the future king. Like his elder sisters, Edward was also taught music. He could play the lute, and perhaps other instruments as well. Author and Edward VI biographer Jennifer Loach believes that Edward was probably taught by one of King Henrys most favored musicians by the name of Philip van der Wilder. Wilder was a member of Edwards privy chamber.

Just a month after he wrote a letter in French to his sister his father had died and he was now King Edward VI of England.

Just three days after the death of his father, Edward travelled to London by horse where the news of King Henrys death had just been made public.

Hear ye, hear ye, King Henry is dead, long live the king!

He was escorted to the Tower of London where cannons saluted the new kings arrival. He would stay there until his coronation.l on the 20th of February.

The last coronation took place in England was in 1533 when Anne Boleyn was crowned queen consort. It had been 14 years and one can imagine the uncertainty that came with a minor on the throne.

King Henry VI had been a minor when he came to throne as well and it was during his reign that the Wars of the Roses occurred, it would have seemed imperative to secure Edwards throne immediately and his eldest uncle believed that he was the best option to lead the country and guide his nephew. An act that would later destroy the Seymour brothers and leave the King without his uncles to protect him.

For two days following the coronation, Royal jousts were held while King Edward looked on. The kings uncle, Thomas Seymour was one of the six challengers who competed and ran six courses against twelve defenders.

The celebration continued with banquets and plays but the Imperial ambassador, Van der Delft was reportedly unimpressed calling the festivities unremarkable.

As is usual with Edwards diary little is written about the festivities except that he sat next to his uncle Edward and Archbishop Cranmer with the crown on his head.

It did not take long into the young kings reign before there were issues with council members not agreeing. Ambassador Van der Delft had predicted some envy between the Lord Protector and John Dudley. Although they both belong to the same sect they are nevertheless widely different in character; Dudley being of high courage will not willingly submit to his colleague. He is also higher in favor with the people than Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector. Van der Delft also said that Somerset was indeed looked down upon by everybody as a dry, sour, opinionated man.5

The young king spent most of his time isolated and without money to pay his servants, musicians and tutors, so when his uncle Thomas was made aware the King needed money he sent messages and coins to his nephew through the kings servant, John Fowler. Through Fowler Thomas Seymour now Lord Admiral was able to receive consent to marry the dowager queen, Kateryn Parr. By the way, he has already secretly married her without consent.

The Lord Admiral continued sending the king money and at one point Edward was reported as saying that he wished his uncle Edward were dead. During all of this the Admiral was pressing for the title, Governor of the Kings Person, a title Somerset also held. Thomas Seymour hired lawyers and suggested that their nephews reign was similar to that of the minor king, Henry VI.

A visit to the king brought forward Thomas Seymours path to the governorship; asking the King to give his Royal signature to the bill. Edward was not used to making decisions as such on his own and was uncertain what to do. Thomas continued to try to convince his nephew but the King only resisted harder, and at one point asked him to leave him alone. Afterward the young king spoke to his tutor Cheke and asked if it would be wise to sign the bill. Cheke made it clear that it was a risky idea and recommended he did not.

Thomas did not give up on his nephew – he continued pushing his cause and told his nephew that he would soon be able to rule alone, but not with Somerset managing his affairs. Eventually King Edward agreed to sign the bill, but unfortunately for Thomas it was only a verbal agreement. He asked his uncle to leave the bill with Cheke for him to sign later.

Seymour handed Cheke a paper which had this written on it: My Lords, I pray you to favor my Lord Admiral my uncles suit. It was in Chekes hands now to agree to bring the bill to the king to sign. He would not. Seymour was furious and Cheke informed his student that he was playing with fire and by no means was he supposed to sign anything without the guidance of the Lord Protector.

Meanwhile Somerset had raged yet another battle in the war best known as the Rough Wooing – an ongoing war with the hopes of a treaty between England and Scotland over the marriage between their Queen (Mary Stuart, or queen of Scots) and the King of England, Edward VI. The battle of Pinkie was considered a success and the King commended his uncle for striving that his kingdom be quiet and replenished with true religion. When Edward was informed from his uncle that Catholic priests were some of the first to be hacked down in battle he was ecstatic. While the battle was a victory for the English, the Scots would not relent and their Queen Mary was smuggled out of Scotland and raised in France- thats how much the Scots did not want the reformed religion in their country. She would later marry the Dauphin of France who later became King Francois II making Mary also queen consort if France.

Religious reform during the reign of Edward VI was in full swing with the guidance of Somerset, the King and a slightly reluctant Cranmer. The repeal of King Henry VIIIs Act of Six Articles allowed for unrestricted reading of the Bible. This also resulted in books that had been previously banned being printed once again. Most were Protestant books.

King Edwards sister Mary was a staunch Catholic and the reformation went completely against her beliefs making her an obvious figurehead for the opposition. Mary became a vocal critic of her brothers government and their religious policies. This became a sore spot between the two for Edwards entire life. Even so, Edward still cared for his sister and was a bit sympathetic to her cause – he allowed her to she could practice her faith privately and to Have patience till I have more years, then I will remedy all. That statement suggests that even the King had believed his uncle Somerset had take the reform too far. He was not alone, Archbishop Cranmer felt the same.

Continue reading Part Two

Notes:

Kyra Kramer – Henry VIIIs Health in a Nutshell
CATRINA BANKS WHITLEY and KYRA KRAMER. A NEW EXPLANATION FOR THE REPRODUCTIVE WOES AND MIDLIFE DECLINE OF HENRY VIII
Skidmore, Chris. Edward VI. Page 23
4Ibid.
5Ibid. Page 24
6 Ibid. Page 64

Sources:
Loach, Jennifer. Edward VI
Kramer, Kyra. Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell
Skidmore, Chris. Edward VI

To Protect Thyself and Thy King

When the Lord Protector, Thomas Seymour’s brother Edward, Duke of Somerset was off fighting the Battle of Pinkie in Scotland in 1547, Thomas used his time wisely by gaining friends and support from the King’s inner circle of servants and privy chamber members.

Thomas, as the Lord High Admiral of England, should have been in Scotland as well, but he had stayed in London to allegedly intrigue against Somerset. If I recall he feigned illness. This would not be the last time Thomas Seymour shirked his duties as Admiral.

It was also during the time when Somerset was at the Battle of Pinkie that Seymour was able to convince the King to write a letter approving of a marriage between Thomas and Kateryn Parr. Of course, nobody knew that the two had already wed, but Seymour got a letter written that protected himself and the queen dowager.

During this time Thomas Seymour was believed to have given money to two or three of the members of the King’s privy chamber andgrooms of the chamber. By accepting the money from Seymour he believed that they would in return become ‘his men’.



The question that always remains is what was the catalyst that caused the falling out between the two Seymour brothers for Seymour to act this way?

The main cause of the following out between Thomas and his brother Edward was the fact that Edward became Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King upon the accession of their nephew, Edward VI. Thomas believed that the titles should have been shared by the two brothers as had happened in the past. He even went so far to search the chronicles for precedents and discovered evidence to back him up: ‘that there was in England at one time one Protector and another Regent of France and the Duke of Exeter and the Bishop of Winchester, Governors of the King’s Person‘.

Some have suggested that John Dudley, Earl of Warwick instigated Seymour’s intrigues to cause discord between the brothers. After the death of Henry VIII, Thomas Seymour felt that he was unfairly treated and this caused a wound between the brothers. Like a vulcher, Warwick attacked the wounded prey.

Prior to the death of Henry VIII there is nothing of note to indicate that the brothers were anything but civil with one another. As a matter of fact, Thomas wrote to his brother when he was away that he had checked on his wife (Anne Stanhope) and Prince Edward:

“Our master and mistress, with my lord Prince, are merry, and so is my lady my sister, whom I will visit ere (before) I sleep. And thus most heartily fare ye well, and send you a prosperous journey. Westminster, [14 March 1544]”

So Warwick, understanding that there was an opportunity to be had, promised that if Thomas pursued the cause to become Governor of the King with the council, that he would give him his support. Seymour played into Warwick’s hands like a puppet – he had already been angry and jealous toward his brother and the nudge from Warwick was enough to push him over the edge. When Thomas raised the matter at a council meeting his brother, Duke of Somerset upon hearing his statement, stood up (without saying anything) and ended the meeting.

The one thing that Warwick had not mentioned was the discord caused by having two uncles in charge – looking no further than the Duke of Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort (previously mentioned Regent of France and Bishop of Winchester) during the minority of King Henry VI. This was something that Thomas’ brother, Somerset had mentioned and was one of the reasons he was reluctant to give his brother such a title.



We also know Thomas was not too keen on education, so did he know English history? Was he aware what had happened the last time two uncles held power during the minority of their nephew?

As Thomas pushed and pushed about the matter of becoming Governor, it only incensed Somerset further. It was brought to Seymour’s attention that he willfully signed the document making Edward, Lord Protector of the Realm and Governor of the King. This did not dissuade Seymour from his mission, however.

Ultimately, the council turned against Thomas Seymour – probably led by the Earl of Warwick and they convinced Somerset that his brother was a danger to his life.

Edward VI

Now, if we look at King Edward VI and his relationship with Somerset, we see a young King, who was the son of Henry VIII – that in itself probably means that Edward had a strong personality and wanted things his way.

John Fowler, servant to King Edward VI, had mentioned that Seymour would come to the privy buttery and drink there alone and ask him whether the king would say anything of him. Thomas had been giving the King gifts of money so that he could give gifts to his servants and have money of his own – you see, the Lord Protector had also put restrictions on his nephew the King and so Thomas may have believed he and the King were kindred spirits in the is matter…both were being held back by the Lord Protector. Seymour, while protecting and encouraging his nephew to become King in his own right was not only fighting for his nephew, but also for himself. He saw it as unfair and so had the King. At one time mentioning how he wished that his uncle Somerset was dead.

Alleged Kidnapping Attempt

On the night of the 16th of January 1549, Thomas Seymour was arrested for allegedly killing the King’s dog and attempting to kidnap the King. What is not fully stated in most cases is the facts that surround the case.

Weeks earlier, Thomas Seymour had made complaints that his nephew was not well protected. That he needed more guards. On the night of the incident it was reported that Thomas dispersed some of the guards to run errands, which left a gap in security. The Duke of Somerset had made it very clear prior to this that Thomas should not have access to his nephew. Would these guards have been brave enough to work against the Lord Protector by taking orders from his younger brother? I’m skeptical.

The story then continues with King Edward’s dog being shot outside the royal bedchamber. The sound of the gunshot alerted a nearby guard(why wasn’t there one closer?) who then collected other guards before approaching the door to the bedchamber. It was then that they spotted Thomas Seymour standing there. Immediately Thomas was accused of shooting the dog and plotting to kidnap the king.

Professor G.W. Bernard cannot definitively say whether or not Thomas Seymour meant to kidnap King Edward (and Elizabeth for that fact) – to me that speaks volumes. Nobody knows for certain if that was his intent that night at Hampton Court Palace. We know he was there – that’s a fact. We also know that sometime before the alleged kidnapping that Seymour was discouraged at the number of guards available to protect the king. Those who oppose Seymour see that as him scoping out the joint beforehand. I see it as an uncle who is concerned for his nephews safety.



Henry Bullinger is quoted as condemning Seymour on the 15th of February 1549. Bullinger, a German reformer, put all the blame on Seymour and insisted that Seymour killed the King’s dog and would have killed the King if he had not been halted by the guards.

When we consider the killing of the King’s dog we must remember that there were no witnesses to the murder. It was easy to place the blame on Seymour. Contrary to what some authors have stated, the King’s dog was not next to the King’s bed in his bedchamber, instead he was just outside the room.

Thomas Seymour had brought a few of his servants with him that night at Hampton Court Palace that night. My thought has always been that Seymour was concerned about the safety of his nephew. There was no advantage for him to murder his nephew, but protect him – yes. It is my belief that one of his servants made it to King’s room before Seymour to check if the room was being protected and got scared by the barking dog. In a panic the dog was killed. Seymour’s timing could not have been worse – as he approached the King’s room the King’s guards apprehended him. Seymour insisted that he was checking that the King was securely guarded. It is possible that he was there to kidnap his nephew. He may have seen this as his only option.

After his arrest, Thomas Seymour was examined and mentioned that he and Fowler had a discussion about Mr. Stanhope’s paranoia surrounding the King. That he asked to be woken anytime someone came to the door. Then they went on to ask if he was afraid that any man may come and take the King. To which it was implied that that man was Seymour – he said, “If he think that I will go about it, he shall watch a good while”.

Did Thomas Seymour want to kidnap his nephew? Well, he certainly mentioned one time that he wished to have the King in his possession. Here is how he responded to that charge against him:

“He said that about Eastertide he said to Fowler, as he supposeth it was, that if he might have the king in his custody as Mr. Page had he would be glad, and that he thought a man might bring him through the Gallery to his chamber, and so to his house, but this he said he spoke merely meaning no hurt.”

The story of Thomas Seymour and his nephew ended with Edward VI turning against his uncle and Seymour being executed on the 19th of March 1549. Then a few years later, on the 22nd of January 1552, his other uncle and former Lord Protector was executed, leaving John Dudley as the most powerful man in England.

The Tudor court was full of scandal and intrigue and the reign of Edward VI was obviously no different.

We may never know the whole story when it comes to Thomas Seymour, but I promise you I will continue to dig until we have a better understanding of all the events that occurred between 1547 and 1549.

This article was originally published on my Thomas Seymour blog.

Notes:

Dasent, J.R., Acts of the Privy Council

Thomas Seymour Blog,Charges Against Thomas Seymour[5 March 2018]

A Collection of State Papers 1542-1570,Examination of the Lord Admiral [1549]

Sources:

England Under the Reigns of Edward VI and Mary with the Contemporary History of Europe

Bernard, G.W., Power and Politics in Tudor England – The downfall of Thomas Seymour (essay) [2000] ISBN 0 7546 0245 1

McLean, John, The Life of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley


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